World Japan regions push to end state of emergency as COVID-19 cases fall

06:05  24 february  2021
06:05  24 february  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Dozens injured in strong quake off Japan's Fukushima

  Dozens injured in strong quake off Japan's Fukushima A 7.3-magnitude earthquake off Japan's Fukushima injured dozens of people, authorities said Sunday, nearly 10 years after the eastern region was hit by a huge quake that sparked a tsunami and nuclear meltdown. No abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which melted down in the wake of the March 2011 quake that triggered a towering tsunami and killed more than 18,000 people. Japan's meteorological agency said Saturday's quake, which hit at a depth of 60 kilometres (37 miles) in the Pacific off Fukushima, was considered an aftershock of the massive tremor nearly a decade ago."I was at home.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Regional Japanese governments have requested emergency pandemic measures be lifted ahead of the March 7 scheduled end as new COVID-19 cases trend lower, the country's economy minister said, adding the government will seek expert views before agreeing.

a group of people that are standing in the rain: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo © Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo

A surge in cases prompted Japan to announce a state of emergency last month for 11 prefectures, requesting residents to curtail activities and businesses to shorten operating hours.

The state of emergency would likely be lifted in stages though businesses would be asked to continue closing early, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Wednesday.

U.S. COVID Cases Are Down, but the Virus Isn't in Retreat

  U.S. COVID Cases Are Down, but the Virus Isn't in Retreat The outbreak is moving in the right direction, but experts told Newsweek they fear progress could be jeopardized by complacency and new variants.On Sunday, the U.S. reported 72,000 new COVID cases, 67,000 people hospitalized with the disease, and 1,363 deaths, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That was down from the all-time high at the start of January when 1.7 million cases were reported in a week. Similarly, hospitalizations have fallen from their record of 132,000 in early January, and fatalities were down for the second week in a row as of Thursday.

Japan recorded 1,083 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, national broadcaster NHK reported, compared with a peak of almost 8,000 on Jan. 8. New infections in Tokyo have fallen to levels not seen since November.

Three western prefectures along with three more in the central and southern parts of Japan have requested the state of emergency be lifted as early as this week, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said late on Tuesday.

Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures will remain under the state of emergency, Nishimura said.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will meet government ministers on Wednesday to discuss lifting the state of emergency in the six regional prefectures, with a final decision expected on Friday, Jiji news reported citing unidentified government sources.

(Reporting by Izumi Nakagawa, Ju-min Park and Rocky Swift; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

A national system to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines has largely failed as states rely on their own systems .
Operation Warp Speed tried to help states set priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution with Tiberius. Few states use it as designed.Tiberius, which took Star Trek Capt. James T. Kirk's middle name, would allow “granular planning” all the way down to the doctor’s office, provide “a ZIP code-by-ZIP code view of priority populations,” and “ease the burden” on public health officials, the federal government said.

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